TheWineRambler "A German wine label is one of the things life's too short for" - Kingsley Amis



Recent comments

  • Weingut Ziereisen, Steingrüble, 2008   4 years 6 weeks ago

    ... miracle. A very well put last paragraph, if I may say so. I should add Gutedel on the list of grapes to look out for.

  • The surprising wines of Markgräflerland - a guest ramble by Simon Jones   4 years 6 weeks ago

    Simon, thanks very much for this instructive piece. As far as I remember, I have only passed through Markgräflerland twice: once at the tender age of five or so, the other time on my way to Basel last year. There was not enough time to explore the area, not even to have a good look around - which is sad, because it seems I missed quite something. Next time!

  • Rudolf May, Retzstadter Langenberg, Silvaner Spätlese trocken "Wellenkalk", 2008   4 years 7 weeks ago

    Michael Teschke's wife is called Sylvia, so that may be the simple reason for the spelling. I was curious and had a look at this sylvaner guy's website (#Prädikatsärsche, #Fallschirmjäger, #Schüttelreime). He's also into Portugieser, so as we liked the Krauße Schwarzer...?

  • Rudolf May, Retzstadter Langenberg, Silvaner Spätlese trocken "Wellenkalk", 2008   4 years 7 weeks ago

    Thanks Christian, no shortage of interesting Silvaners to try, it seems. What do you make of this Silvaner/Sylvaner spelling business that is now all the rage in Franken and Rheinhessen? Marketing archaism or useful sign of stylistic choice?

  • Rudolf May, Retzstadter Langenberg, Silvaner Spätlese trocken "Wellenkalk", 2008   4 years 7 weeks ago

    I also have a few more of those here, but recently I have been preoccupied with Pinot (Blanc, Noir and Gris). But I will revisit this grape. Glad you enjoyed this one, even if it did not shake your Silvaner world.

  • Rudolf May, Retzstadter Langenberg, Silvaner Spätlese trocken "Wellenkalk", 2008   4 years 7 weeks ago

    Here is another excellent Sylvaner I had in the glass recently.

    http://schiller-wine.blogspot.com/2010/02/in-glass-2007-sylvaner-trocken...

  • Lukas Krauß, Krauße Schwarzer, 2008   4 years 7 weeks ago

    And. I. Only. Ever. Had. One. Bottle.
    Full stop.

  • Lukas Krauß, Krauße Schwarzer, 2008   4 years 7 weeks ago

    We got hold of the last case of this wine that Lukas had, and by god, it's going fast. I now have a crush on the light touch of vanilla that this has, that I somehow failed to pick up in the first bottle. Ever so elegant.

  • When the postman rings twice...   4 years 8 weeks ago

    This could be the first winerambler blog givaway: "What's that bottle hiding in the middle?" A question for those having a sharp eye and a quick wit...

  • Salwey, Oberrotweiler Käsleberg, Spätburgunder 2008   4 years 8 weeks ago

    If in doubt, ask someone who knows - I emailed the Salwey people and they have confirmed that, as Julian suspected, they did indeed accidentally swap the numbers: the wine has 1.2 g/l residual sugar and 5.3 g/l acidity. This makes much more sense than the other way around.

    I am sure the world will rest easier knowing this.

  • Silvaner Symposium (blind tasting madness part 3)   4 years 8 weeks ago

    Thank's!

  • Silvaner in the Pfalz - a guest ramble by Lukas Krauß   4 years 8 weeks ago

    For a long time, Silvaner was to me like the average neighbour in a big block of flats. While you realise they are there, you do not really take much notice. A polite greeting, perhaps some friendly small talk or a chat in the staircase.

    2009 changes all of that and really put Silvaner on the map for me. I realised what gifted and dedicated winemakers can do with this variety, which makes some background information even more interesting.

    I guess falling in love with creamy risotto with caramelised apples, sage and walnut did also contribute to winning me over to Silvaner...

  • Markus Molitor, Wehlener Klosterberg, Weißburgunder *** trocken, 2005   4 years 9 weeks ago

    I think now that I rather overstated my case. I shouldn't have made it sound like high alcohol should be rejected categorically and indiscriminately. I do think, though, that factors like climate change should not override stylistic choice, the point being that there is nothing inevitable in rising alcohol, and it's we the consumers that can ultimately decide how wines will be made.

  • Markus Molitor, Wehlener Klosterberg, Weißburgunder *** trocken, 2005   4 years 9 weeks ago

    15% is just a crazy level of alcohol for a Pinot Blanc. Pinot Blanc makes wines which are all about accessible fruitiness and ease of drinking. I agree entirely with Torsten's comments in the main article that Pinot Blanc is a wine you should be able to drink glass after glass of without feeling over-whelmed; a five-year-old 15% wine is unlikely to fit that ideal.

    I can see that, as Torsten commented, this would make a good curiosity wine but not, oh no definitely not, for everyday, uncomplicated drinking pleasure. Julian is perhaps a little more extreme than me in his rejection of booze-monsters, but I certainly agree that there are perilously few 14+% wines I want to drink on a regular basis. Elegance, harmony and beauty are facets to be applauded in wine; just because it is possible to bake Pinot Blanc into a 15% beast does not mean that is a clever thing to be doing.

    Cheers,
    David.

  • When the postman rings twice...   4 years 9 weeks ago

    Trust me, it is only a perception issue. Hiding behind 'Lord' Salwey is another bottle that makes it appear like I had sampled some of the Pinot. I have not. But I intend to do so soon! Trust me on that too.

  • When the postman rings twice...   4 years 9 weeks ago

    The Salweys on parade. Lord Salway (in the middle?), with his entourage. Oh, there's something wrong with the one in the middle. You already seem to be getting aquainted, aren't you?

  • Hungary's unique white wines - a guest ramble by Molly Hovorka   4 years 9 weeks ago

    once in somlo, juhfark [sheep's tail] shouldn't be missed either. a lovely, nutty white with stone fruit aromas.

  • Markus Molitor, Wehlener Klosterberg, Weißburgunder *** trocken, 2005   4 years 9 weeks ago

    I am very much with you on taking a stand. However, in this case I also have to admit that the wine has an undeniable quality to it. If Molitor could really only make it with 15%, would the world have been better off without it? In a way, I would have hated to have boycotted this wine - but then it was a curiosity thing. As an everyday wine this could never work for me.

  • Markus Molitor, Wehlener Klosterberg, Weißburgunder *** trocken, 2005   4 years 9 weeks ago

    It keeps on baffling me, too. There is not only climate change, there's physiological ripeness vs. alcoholic ripeness, there's the german tradition of must weight as a measure of wine quality, there's the disturbing fact that often the better the producer (and who's better than Molitor), the graver the problem, because those are used to pushing hard for ripeness.

    While I find it terribly hard to make sense of all this, I'm also finding it ever easier to take a stand: Just saying no to high alcohol. I've already given up on southern Rhone reds after a few tries, and just yesterday, I decided against ordering a few Pinot Noirs from a Rheinhessen producer because they were 14% across the board. If reasons for high alcohol are varied, so are counter-measures, e.g. harvest earlier, try biodynamic wineyard management, move to cooler sites and so on. As a wine snob, I expect the best wine growers and makers to get their act together, and find out what will work. As a consumer and customer, this is arrogance I feel I can afford.

    Love the photo work, by the way.

  • Markus Molitor, Wehlener Klosterberg, Weißburgunder *** trocken, 2005   4 years 9 weeks ago

    Thank you for the comment, Gottfried - and even more so for the discussion on Twitter. The bottom of the bottle actually says 'modèle déposé', meaning that it is a registered design. It also indicates that this is a 75cl bottle and mentions '63mm', so I assume that would indicate the bottle should be filled up to 63mm below the top. I now remember being told that Molitor uses heavy Burgundy bottles for these wines (which would explain the modèle déposé).

    While I love the bottle, I am actually more curious about the high alcohol level and what to make of it (that is what I meant by 'enlighten'). I still haven't really come to a conclusion, but 15%...

  • Markus Molitor, Wehlener Klosterberg, Weißburgunder *** trocken, 2005   4 years 9 weeks ago

    on the bottom you can find:
    the company who made the bottle - mostly a sign
    and a hint in millimeters of how high the level of wine in the bottle should be to have exactly 750ml
    ...

  • Knipser, Syrah Auslese trocken, 2003   4 years 9 weeks ago

    That is a really good point you make, Alex. I agree that using some well known varieties can increase the appeal of German reds, as David also pointed out. It gets really interesting when winemakers blend the 'international' varieties with 'German' ones. For instance, I just saw that Philipp Kuhn, also based in the Pfalz, has a blend of Blaufränkisch, St.-Laurent, Cabernet Sauvignon and Sangiovese. This mix of varieties is very international in some ways, but certainly not in what I would call the boring, standardised international style. It would be interesting to try one of those at some point.

    I have also heard good things about Rings, who, as it happens, also produce Syrah...

  • Knipser, Syrah Auslese trocken, 2003   4 years 9 weeks ago

    I was following your vivid discussion and wanted to add something. I believe that the relative rise of some international varieties in Germany isn't a reason for worries. In fact they're a big opportunity in some market segments for obtaining interesting red wine cuvées which blend International varieties such as Syrah, Cabernet and Merlot with local varieties such as Portugieser, St. Laurent or others. Schneider estate or Rings estate from Pfalz have shown some nice examples. Those same estates though have shown that their goal isn't only to blend in international varieties, but also to make appealing wines from single local varieities such as Portugieser that appear in a rarely before seen style.
    Greets, Alex

  • A. Christmann, Weißburgunder "SC" Pfalz, 2008   4 years 9 weeks ago


    I love that.
    I already suggested to Julian that the Wine Rambler should try to bring in some hidden messages there, like in early netherlandish painting (the Arnolfini portrait by Van Eyck). Geisteswissenschaftler are into semantics, aren't they?

  • Knipser, Syrah Auslese trocken, 2003   4 years 9 weeks ago

    I have just been told by a German wine merchant that Knipser's 2007 Syrah will become available in autumn this year. I will make sure to get at least one bottle so that I can report back. This will be interesting!